Saturday, July 7, 2012

Getting Ready for Martha's

In a few weeks, I will be heading north to Huntsville, Alabama to work my very favorite venue, the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion. This school is something I have been doing twice a year for the past 20 years, and I don't know what I would do if I couldn't do it any longer. It's not that they don't want me to teach, because they most certainly do, but if no one signs up for my classes, they are forced to cancel. Well, unfortunately my school was cancelled due to low enrollment. This is only the second time my school has been cancelled and it feels terrible.

I have decided that next February, my school will have a completely different theme. Instead of the Wendy Schoen Baby School, my school will focus on finishing details and construction. I'm calling it "FUNdamentals with Wendy Schoen." I have been racking my brain for new ideas and I think I may have stumbled on the perfect solution. The dilema is people just really want to be able to sew for their children (grandchildren). Period. No earth shattering techniques, no over-the-moon embroidery stitches that take years to perfect, just plain old good sewing. Before you met me, I sewed for myself. I loved it. I perfected it. I want to do it again.

Many of you have been wondering, I'm sure, why I have been teaching children to sew. My motivation is to get people sewing, not only kids, but adults too. I was curious about what would happen if I tried my hand with virtural beginners and it made sense to begin with kids. I discovered it was something I really, really enjoy, in fact I believe I got more out of it than the kids. It's been so long since I have felt giddy with excitement over sewing and the feeling was intoxicating. I'm moving on to adults in the fall. We have young people, men and women, almost on a daily basis who walk in to my teaching studio to inquire about sewing lessons. This is something I want to do, and will definitely do.

At Martha's, we have had an influx of people wanting to learn to sew. Many have steered clear of my school because they felt the curriculum was beyond their capabilities. I truly want to entice a few of those ladies into my classroom. My intermediate sewists have signed up for my pre-day classes, which is great. I have respectable numbers enrolled for those classes, and now that they have opened up the enrollment for outsiders (non-school attendees), I know my numbers will increase. In fact, a few ladies from La Broderie Bayou have signed up for my pre-day class.

I have decided which classes I would like to teach for the 2013 school and I think they are great choices. I have included images below, but remember, they have not been approved yet so they might change slightly. I truly hope you are able to join me in February for at least one class. In a few days, you may read the descriptions on my site which will help in your decision making process. Enrollment isn't open yet, but it's never too early to start planning.

Have a terrific 4th of July weekend, and take a few moments to do a little sewing, won't you?


  1. I love your new back to basics approach. I've been sewing for ages,and yet,I feel a good finishing details and constructions class is always needed. Your Petunia dress is adorable and so is Oodles of Poodles. Best of luck.
    (I've taken your shadow embroidery class twice in Puerto Rico, purchased the video, and still can't get the hang of it... so I keep on smocking...)


  2. Thank you so much for your response. Although I am focusing on the fundamentals of sewing, I still want to throw in a few "so Wendy" favorites. You happened to pick out my two favorites.

  3. Wendy, You are an awesome teacher. I have made many beautiful dresses in your classes. I think you have a great idea with the new school theme. The dresses you have posted are darling! I think the economy is a big part of the reason your school was cancelled. I am so glad you are hanging in there.

  4. I took a daygown class with you many years ago, while visiting in Memphis. Most of my classes and schools with you focused on wonderful embroidery techniques, but I really did learn a lot of valuable sewing and finishing techniques in the daygown class. I think it is a fabulous idea to focus on more of those things now. Many of us have recently discussed there is more to sewing than just stitching a seam. I believe those new to sewing would enjoy it even more, if their projects could look a little more finished and detailed. I am sorry your school was cancelled. I was surprised to see there were 16 schools offered this year. That is a lot of schools, compared to the years when I attended! Even in good economic times, it might be difficult to fill all those schools. Thank you for continuiing to inspire and teach! Have fun in Huntsville!

  5. Wendy love your new designs! I' especially love the Monday and Petunia dress. Would these be in your school or preday? Also, I'm signed up for your mermaid preday class and wondering if u will still be teaching it in July?


    1. Yes, I will definitely be teaching all of my preday classes next week. I'm so thrilled that you are coming. See you soon,

  6. These look wonderful, Wendy! I imagine the economy is limiting things someone. I think your new approach is a great idea to broaden the appeal to those with less experience. I love the looks of these projects and now I'm trying to figure out how I could get to MP school in February! :-)